Flood Insurance Programs
Pump Repair and Troubleshooting
Sump pumps are great at protecting
your basement from floods and water damage when they are installed correctly
and function properly. However, if your pump breaks down, your top priority
should be to fix it, given that a dysfunctional sump pump can lead to
of the time, a sump pump repair task can be
accomplished by the homeowner. Before buying
a new sump pump or hiring a professional to
fix the old one, try to locate the problem and
attempt to fix it yourself. And, if you still
have additional questions regarding sump pumps,
check our the FAQ
Typical Sump Pump Problems
and How to Solve Them
Know that the lifespan of a sump pump is about 10 years, and
so they do eventually wear out. However, inspecting and maintaining the
sump pump on a regular basis can minimize the need for sump pump repair.
The most common problem associated with a malfunctioning sump
pump is the float. This device, in the shape of a ball, is designed to
rise with the incoming water and automatically turn on the sump pump when
the water reaches a certain level. If the float is defective, the sump
pump will not be triggered and an overflow of water will occur. So, examine
the float and check that there is no debris obstructing its rise and fall.
To avoid potential water damage in your basement, check it on a regular
basis to ensure proper performance.
The check valve could be another possible problem. When a valve
is installed incorrectly, water will go back into the basin after the
pump has shut off, causing extra work for your sump pump and additional
wear and tear. To fix a valve problem, first, assure yourself that it
is not clogged with debris, and then verify that the arrow on the valve
is pointing away from the sump pump and not towards it.
The next typical
problem that may require sump pump repair involves the impeller. If the
impeller jams or starts to make a strange buzzing noise, it should be
fixed immediately as the pump may stop working. Again, most likely, some
debris has accumulated inside and needs to be discarded. Remove the impeller,
and thoroughly clean out the interior. To avoid obstruction of the impeller
again, a filter can be installed to trap debris.
After making certain that the problem is not the float, valve,
or impeller, the trouble at hand might be an electrical one. Check to
see if there are any glitches with the circuit breakers, fuses, power
supplies, or if there are any broken wires or faulty connections. If you
are certain that all is secure and the sump pump has been thoroughly cleaned
of debris, and it is still not performing properly, your last resort is
to call a professional for a sump pump repair job, or consider purchasing
a new one.
Purchase and Installation
One last thing or two - before buying a sump pump, there are
two important factors to consider: how much water can the basin hold,
and how quickly can it be pumped out (that is, the rate at which the valve
eliminates the water from the pit). This will help you determine which
sump pump you want to buy. It is crucial to install the sump pump properly
in order to ensure its good function and that it will last its average
This article was written
by Herb Mansfield:
Herb Mansfield is a master plumber in the province of Quebec, Canada.
He has over 35 years experience in the plumbing field. He is now lending
his expertise to the Sump
Pump Info website.